After a contentious 1-1 draw between long-time rivals Liverpool and Manchester United at the weekend, there has been one common question amongst fans following the match. Does VAR actually work?
VAR, or Video Assistant Referee, is already well underway of its first year of usage in the Premier League. VAR will automatically check every goal scored throughout the season, ensuring that any infringements made during the attacking phase before the goal are correctly brought to light.
It can also be used for subjective decisions such as a foul. VAR will be used to overturn a verdict if a “clear and obvious error” has been recognised.
However, VAR has managed to make the headlines once again. With a plethora of debatable moments coming from the game between Liverpool and Manchester United, one thing is clear. The VAR debate is far from over.
United took the lead early in the game, when Marcus Rashford got himself on the end of a brilliant ball from Daniel James to put the hosts ahead in the first half.
However, VAR was called into play after a controversial challenge from Victor Lindelöf on Divock Origi. The United defender appeared to foul the Liverpool winger prior to the goal. Although, when VAR was called into play and the foul was analysed, the goal stood, and the score remained 1-0.
Liverpool managed to score not long afterwards, however; VAR was called into play once again. Before the goal, the ball made contact with Sadio Mané’s hand before he slotted the ball past David de Gea. Consequently, VAR disallowed the goal.
After the match, Liverpool Manager Jürgen Klopp, was clearly upset on how the issues around VAR affected the outcome of the result, he said, “They were better than we were, for what they wanted to do, so they defended well. But they scored a goal which shows all the problems with VAR.
“For me it was a clear foul [on Divock Origi]. We cannot change that, it’s just a general problem with VAR.”
It’s also evident that many fans from the Merseyside area echo the feelings of the Liverpool manager. Some fans have described the use of VAR as “shocking” and that it does “more harm than good” for the game.
John Holloway, 22, said, “I believe it’s good, buts it’s not done properly, it should be different in the way they do it as it takes too long at the moment.”
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